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Sugar Bytes Egoist review by amazona.de

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An Egoist You Will Love.

I confess - I was selfish.

Sugar Bytes Egoist has been installed on my studio computer for months (!!!!) and - as far as I can anticipate - I am absolutely thrilled - not to say: addictive. And yet I have kept this "treasure" for a long, long time entirely for myself.

As the author of a musician's magazine, you can enjoy countless plug-ins. Since it happens sometimes that the update updates that seductive "plague ghosts" takes more time than the creative act. Newcomers have it not so easy to beat the dull Amazona.de heavy testers still really from the pedestal. But then there comes one like Sugar Bytes' Egoist around the corner and closes so fast friendship with you that you do not know how it happens to you.

What Does It Do?

Basically, it's about making new grooves out of dusty loops. Egoist uses three core competences in separate areas:

  • Sample Loop Processing (Slicer)
  • Bass line
  • Drum Part

Add to that a fanciful effect part and a graphical interface, which must seem almost anarchistic for a seasoned sound engineer.

The GUI looks a bit complicated at first, but after a quick look through the manual, it's easy to see through. Apparently, a musician has implemented a tool that is completely practical for musicians. However, why a company with Berlin roots only offers its manuals in English is a mystery to me.

The Slicer

The slicer is the centrepiece of the Egoist and also the reason for my euphoric introduction.

Load, analyse and edit any loop here. After being transformed by the Egoist, the source material is almost unrecognisable.

After loading the loop, it is divided into small audio snippets in the upper third of the GUI (the so-called "slices"). We know this process from dozens of software and hardware samplers. Of course, it is also possible to adjust the slices manually to his own wishes.

Already here you can edit the individual slices in pitch, length, decay and volume. Unlike the settings in the following Slicer Editor, these settings generally apply to the respective audio snippets.

In contrast, it is more exciting in the middle third, since slices Pro Step can now be changed here. In the example above, we have a pattern divided into 16 steps. Use the faders to determine which audio snippets are played in which area. On the screenshot above, snippet 4 is started first, followed by snippets 9, 11, 1, and so on. 

Of course, you can also enter any snippets several times in the list or reduce the number of steps as you like.

However, the sequence of the snippets does not necessarily have to be from left to right, but can also be turned around or set to coincidence. Likewise, steps can be skipped or played backwards.

In the lower third you can now make different Attack, Decay and Level settings for each step.

So suppose you play one and the same snippet several times in succession, each step could still sound completely different.

Effects

The effects that can be varied per step are now the salt in the soup and are activated via a matrix in the lower third of this part.

There are seven different effects to choose from, all of which can be applied to the same step at the same time, if desired.

The seven horizontal columns in the matrix represent the timelines of the 7 effects. The vertical columns represent the number of steps in your pattern. Now click on the desired box and thereby link step and effect.

Thanks to colour coding, you are able to see if say, at step 1 a delay has been set, step 2 remains dry and step 3 is receiving a chorus.

Again, even if each step contains the same snippet, each step may sound different.

The effects available are:

  • Filter (7 different filter types)
  • Delay
  • Reverb
  • Lo-Fi
  • Chorus
  • Tape Stop
  • Looper

A change in the effect parameters also alters the graphical depiction of the effect - and very aptly. Even beginners will probably immediately see what this or that effect triggers - not only by the acoustic change of the useful signal, but also by the visualisation. That gives me many, many bonus points.

A word on the quality of the effects: Who expects Lexicon and Co., has cut. These effects are creative, roughly hacked. Hello, there's something going on, and that's neat. High end purists will surely be unhappy, creative groove freaks will love this kit!

Bass & Beat

For me, this part has been a nice bonus so far. It completes the main parts slices and effects with a drum and a bass part.

There are certainly much more exciting colleagues here, but to the idea screws makes this Page a valuable contribution and therefore there is certainly no deduction of points for this part in the otherwise criticism-free overall rating.

In the upper left half can create a classic bass line (à la TB303 or SH101), consisting of an OSC (Saw or Pulse) and a few parameters such as resonance or decay. Likewise, you load yourself in the upper right half of a drum set of snare, bass and hi-hat, which can then be changed with a few parameters.

In the lower half are now lined up two sequencers, in which one uses the trigger for the bass line or one of the three drum tracks in a matrix manner. 
The bass track allows you to play a straight played or a pitched note (Glide) per step, the input of an octave and a pitch within the octave.

As I said, if someone grows Egoist to be able to own a great bass synthesiser or drum sequencer, which is wrapped awry. These two parts are great for trying out grooves in conjunction with the slicer, but in a final production you will often replace them with higher quality plug-ins.

... and effects here as well?

The effects set in the effect matrix also work here and can only be switched on or off completely for Bass and/or Drums. So if a delay is active on the second step and the effects in the mixer (comes soon) on Bass and Drums turned on, in the second step, the delay is also active on a played drum or bass note.

Mixers & More

In the top panel of each page is a small mixer, in the rightmost not only the overall volume, but also the volume of the three parts slicer, bass and drums can be adjusted. Above each of the part faders you can also switch the routing to the effects system on and off.

Almost everywhere there is also a button that fills or changes random functions by random generator. So if you do not know what to do, just press random button and hear what happens.

At the bottom of the main page you can combine patterns to parts and parts to songs. Nice patterns can also be easily trigger by note input and switch.

And last but not least, the utility page mentioned on the Egoist shows in full size and with parameters such as program change, Master Tune, Clock (Internal, External, Host Start) handled.

It should be mentioned immediately that the Egoist runs quasi with mignon cells, so small is its resource hunger. Also one must certify him a high reliability. On my iMac he rattled without problems both as an AU plug-in in Logic and as a stand-alone version. Oh - and by the way there's an Egoist iOS version!

Conclusion

Sugar Bytes Egoist is in my opinion a big hit. Even the most trivial samples and loops can be brought into an exciting groove context and bent beyond recognition. The creative approach is great and encourages the play instinct. Particularly noteworthy is the frisky effect module, which also brings sequencer-based slices to new life.

Only bass and drum parts fall back here clearly and should rather be seen as a complementary tool of ideas.

What I would like to have been would have been a panorama track as well as the possibility to load my own drum samples for the Drum part. But maybe there will be an update.

Pro’s:

  • Extremely creative tool that turns even boring loops into hammer grooves.
  • Ingenious, step-based effects page.
  • Intuitive operation.
  • Unique look and feel.

Con’s:

  • Drumbeats and bass lines rather rudimentary.
  • Drum box can not be fed with own samples.
  • No panorama modulations.

Original Source: amazona.de

Try before you buy

Download Egoist trial version for free!

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